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Hemp Harvester Handles Big Stalks
Hiniker’s new hemp harvester takes the grunt work out of medicinal hemp harvest. The 3-pt. mounted machine cuts the stalks and conveys them gently, but firmly, into a following truck or wagon.
“We needed a machine that could adjust to varying row spacings used in the new industry,” says Matt Morrison, Hiniker. “Producers haven’t settled on a common row spacing, so we went with a 1-row machine.”
Hiniker originally considered using a sickle bar cutter that could handle up to 3 rows, depending on spacing. After sharing the design with producers, feedback suggested a lower-cost, single row machine.
The end result was a heavy-duty, 6,500-lb. harvester that looks something like an early corn picker. Two counter-rotating augers grab the stalks. They pull them into 2 high-speed, pto driven, 3-blade rotary cutters.
“We quickly learned that a sicklebar wouldn’t be robust enough,” says Morrison. “Our 1,000 rpm rotary cutters can cut any diameter stalk.”
Once the cutting system was in place, the next big challenge was the 42-in. wide conveyor. The round stalks tend to roll back down a conventional conveyor, forcing it to be kept to a lower angle. Hiniker went a different route.
“We went with a pinch conveyor system that consists of an upper and lower conveyor,” says Morrison. “It pinches down on the stalks as it carries them up. This lets us keep the conveyer at a steeper angle while treating the plant gently, which is key.”
The conveyor speed is adjustable from within the cab. It can go slowly and drop the plant off or be more aggressive and throw the plants.
Adjustable gauge wheels control the height of the cutters. An operator controlled, hydraulic leveling feature adjusts for hillsides. The speed of the augers can be controlled with the pto driven gearbox and throttle control.
Replacement cutters are available at most implement dealers. Morrison suggests the 1-row machine will be relatively easy to expand to additional rows if desired.
The 1-row machine is priced at $53,500. It can harvest about 15 acres of 40-in. rows per day, traveling at 4 1/2 mph. It went through initial testing in 2019.
“We have a couple of machines in the field this year for final evaluation and plan to introduce it for sale next year,” says Morrison. “We will start taking orders in October, with a second ordering period in April for the 2121 season.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hiniker Manufacturing, 58766 240th St., Mankato, Minn. 56001 (ph 507 625-6621; toll free 800 433-5620; www.hiniker.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1